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Telcos make Kipp angry. Again

Telcos make Kipp angry. Again

Viber is okay, but Skype isn’t, apparently, which makes no sense. Meanwhile, telcos are charging customers thousands for innocent mistakes. Sigh. Why must life be so hard?

January 17, 2011 3:30 by

Kipp doesn’t want to be so angry all the time. It just seems to be a natural byproduct of spending your life chronicling the madness and mayhem that is professional life here in the Gulf, and the UAE in particular. We get frustrated, you see, and then this site becomes a bit of an outlet. Our occasional rants are like pressure release.

This week’s bang-you-head-on-the-desk-why-must-life-be-so-hard story comes courtesy of Du. We’ve hinted before that Du was our favourite telco provider in the UAE (we’re definitely prepared to say it’s in the top two), and we have high hopes for the company one day, when it can properly compete with Etisalat. Du has said today in Emirates 24-7 that Viber, the iPhone app that allows iPhone users to call each other for free, is legal and fine and doesn’t bother Du one jot.

Being a tech savvy, forward thinking website (oh okay, knowing a bloke who is a bit of a nerd and asking him about stuff), Kipp has known about Viber for some time. You buy it at the Apple store, and if a friend also has it you can make calls (both local and international) through data or internet connections. Yes, that’s right, it’s basically VOIP. Kipp has avoided mentioning it because we didn’t want to see it banned, but since Emirates 24-7 has handily blown the secret wide open regardless of the consequences, we figured we may as well mention it today.

According to Emirates 24-7, Farid Faraidooni, Chief Commercial Officer for Du told Al Ittihad paper, “Some of the voice communication programs that are popular among users of the iPhone do not conflict with the legislation governing the telecommunications sector in the UAE.” He said since this VOIP worked iPhone to iPhone its all fine, but if it allowed an iPhone to call a landline that would be a no-no. Faraidooni said such calls don’t harm the company’s revenues, as people are charged via the data packages they bought from Du.

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  1. Yousaf on January 18, 2011 10:23 am

    to be honest, i never subscribed to anything other
    than of normal calling, even i don’t respond to Cash Back offers, and Data…. no way. This is because I don’t trust the Telecom.

    I use my smartphone only on Wireless networks because I found wireless on most of the places, i.e. home, office, malls, coffee shops.

    Another spice to the offers is unlimited data on 3.5G network, why would you have unlimited data when it is 2GB, the most expensive package in the world. Charge reasonable price and give freedom to users in order to retain them. Teleco’s revenue will be more in that case.

    I always go for prepaid, no billing, no subscription, nothing!! because I am afraid of Telecos.. :o)

  2. Dan on January 18, 2011 1:41 pm

    I agree with you Yousaf.

    Thats what I do as well. I am not a sucker for those data packages which quite frankly rob you blind. Neither of the Telecoms are willing to ‘really’ compete. Sure prices on phones are stablizing or more or less decreasing while we are getting at times seemingly tempting offers. At any rate, there is no competition on prices. Neither on call charges nor data bundles. In fact, they are actually on the rise when compared to just a few years ago. Availing the notion that there is no duopoly is mere ignorance to say the least. As long as there are only ‘semi-government’ telecos on coming into the market, price is only going to go up. They should ease there charges or at least halt their growth till finances and job security stablizes. Among the only industry that actually making record profits is telecom. Sure, recently Etisalat dropped in profit but du rose staggeringly. With the notion of duopoly in mind, remember this: If one goes down and the other goes up, they both go up. Frankly speaking, the only way for prices to go down is for a foreign operator gets in to the market. However, even if successful, this success may go downhill for us consumers if corporate decisions undergo filtering system of the TRA.


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